Jerrod Carmichael took a surprising jab at Scientology that left the Golden Globes gasping on Tuesday night. While mocking Tom Cruise for returning his trophies, Carmichael joked that maybe the three awards could be exchanged for the safe return of Shelly Miscavige, the allegedly missing wife of current Scientology leader David Miscavige. Cruise’s ties to Scientology is rarely acknowledged by the actor’s Hollywood peers, so Carmichael’s joke made for a shocking moment that Leah Remini was definitely here for. (Remini famously left the church after allegedly being punished for asking about Shelly’s whereabouts.)
Thanks to Carmichael’s gag, a 2021 interview with Seth Rogen has surfaced. While promoting his book, the Knocked Up actor shared an anecdote with Howard Stern about the first time he met Cruise and how the Top Gun star immediately tried to pitch him Scientology. Via IndieWire:
“A few hours into the meeting, the Scientology stuff comes up,” Rogen recalled of the past discussion with Cruise. “He said, ‘I think the pharmaceutical industry is making me look bad. You should see what they do to my friend Louis Farrakhan.’”
Rogen continued, “I’ll never forget the wording he used: ‘It’s like with Scientology. If you let me just tell you what it was really about, just give me like 20 minutes to, like, really just tell you what it was about. You would say no f*cking way. No f*cking way.’ I remember being like, the wording was like, is that a good thing to be saying?”
Rogen admitted to Stern that he immediately became concerned about what kind of “repercussions” would go down if he rejected Cruise’s pitch. Fortunately, Rogen’s friend and longtime collaborator Judd Apatow quickly steered the conversation towards movies.
“I don’t know if I am — I’m generally a weak-willed, weak-minded person — I would assume on the grand scale of people. If they got him, what chance do I have?” Rogen told Stern. “Thank God Judd was like, ‘I think we’re good, let’s just talk about movies and stuff.’ Woof. Dodged that bullet.”